5

I was reading an article of a new wireless technology and came across this sentence:

nous n’en sommes pas encore à évoquer une quelconque date de lancement de la LTE Advanced dans l’hexagone.

I cannot work out what the "en" is for here. Could it be that it's part of some idiomatic expression?

4

"En" can be either a pronoun (to replace a nominal group starting with de/du/de la/des) or a preposition (related to place/manner/matter/material). Here I actually have trouble seeing which one it is (although I'm French :-O).

Anyway, I think it's idiomatic : en arriver à (quelque chose), en être (quelque part). Also it's mostly (average ?) spoken language, I wouldn't expect that in text.

Litterally it stands for "arriver/être {au point où}/{au moment de}/{prêt à} ..."

In your context : "nous ne sommes pas encore prêts à évoquer ... "

1

En is a complicated word. In this form, it is a pronoun with no antecedent, which is a bit of a strange concept (I think some grammars classify it as a particle, i.e. a word that doesn't fall into any neat classification). This happens in a number of idioms.

En être à means “to have reached the stage when”.

Nous n’en sommes pas encore à évoquer une quelconque date de lancement de la LTE Advanced dans l’hexagone.
We have not reached the point where we might discuss a launch date for LTE Advanced in France.

Où en êtes-vous ? — J'en ai fait la moitié.
How far have you got? — I've processed half of them.

0

Most of the time the " en " refers to the matter/situation/subject of discussion the news article is discussing about. In this situation I think it's about the

en = date de lancement de la LTE Advanced dans l’hexagone

But also it's a common expression assiociated to the alternative of saying

nous n'en parlons pas encore = nous n’en sommes pas encore à évoquer

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.